“You must have profit-building habits!!”
Just about every business, success, or mindset coach out there is saying something to this effect.
But what does it even mean?
If you’ve ever read anything on time management, organization, or productivity you know that the experts are always found talking about habits. And for good reason! I talk about them a lot myself and I’m currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear because there is so much goodness to be found in habits.
That being said, before you can successfully build a new habit, you have to understand a couple of things. So let’s dive in for a quick lesson.
What is a Habit?
Jason Reya has probably the simplest definition I’ve ever heard. “Habits are reliable solutions to recurring problems in our environment.” This works whether its a good habit or a bad one. Our eating habits solve the problem of our hunger. Our workout habits solve the problem of overall health and ability. Our reading habits solved the problem of filling in learning gaps and personal growth.
Our lives are run on habits and they truly make our lives easier. They release us from having to think every moment of every day and the more habits we have, the less decision fatigue we have. I advise you to just take a quick pause right now and think about all of the habits you have incorporated into your day already just today.
Integrity with Yourself
One of the most important things I look for in collaboration partners and clients alike is a high level of integrity. I want to know that they are not only going to accomplish whatever we agree on, but that they’re going to be integrous with themselves. I need to know that they hold honesty in high regard.
When you are looking to build new habits, you have to be honest with yourself. I’m currently working on eating healthier. I’d be kidding myself if I thought I could jump into cutting sugar completely out of my diet. I have a major sweet tooth and I wouldn’t be fair or honest to myself if I told myself that I’m all done with sugar now. Instead, I’m cutting back, having fewer cokes and desserts over all, among other things
When you are looking to build a new habit, you need to take a deep, hard look at yourself. Your end goal may be to read a book a week but if you are only reading a few minutes every few days, it’s going to be a process to reach that goal. Maybe your first goal should be reading a book a month and then you can work up to a book a week.
This one can be SO hard. Building and breaking habits is simple, but it is in no way easy. Our emotions will absolutely pop up and may even be intense. We need to acknowledge them and then decide whether they are helpful or hurtful as we continue to move forward.
Sometimes, our emotions show us the deep side that we haven’t looked at in awhile. Evaluate the feelings and then put aside the ones trying to hold you down.
Examples of emotions to ignore are:
You’ve tried this before and failed.
What’s different about this attempt?
What makes you think you can break this habit? You’ve been doing it as long as you can remember!
Examples of emotions to trust are:
This is scary, but I can do it!
This is hard but so worth it!
This is SO far out of my comfort zone!
What emotions you feel will depend on what habit you’re trying to build or break. Just remember your end goal. Why do you need to change your automatic response to this? How will you benefit personally? How will your business benefit?
If the emotions don’t fit this, then ignore them!